By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — It’s been four months since Cindy Barinholtz discovered she would have to close her store in downtown St. Joseph.
However, over the last four weeks she and her new staff have been putting in the hours to get State Street Stuff operational. Barinholtz said the store at 314 State St. will re-open May 7 to coincide with its four-year anniversary and the Blossomtime Grand Floral Parade. During Barinholtz’s re-opening the store will roll out its new merchandise, along with free candy samples, live entertainment and more.
“When we first opened it was during the parade, so every year we always do an anniversary party on that same day,” she said. “It’s great because there’s always a million people downtown.”
State Street Stuff has a new ceiling, new carpeting and new displays.
In early January, Barinholtz was left with more questions than answers when it was discovered the ceiling tiles inside her business had collapsed. A toilet was left running upstairs in an empty office, which made a portion of the ceiling’s grid fall along with some heavy light fixtures.
Since the discovery there has been constant work of ripping up the floor, drying the basement, demolishing some of the damaged ceiling and taking down plaster to dry. The estimated loss of the store’s inventory to water damage was about 25 percent.
Barinholtz said they were aiming for an April opening, but the amount of work pushed the opening back a bit. In addition to the inside repairs, the front of the store was repainted with rainbow colors in what Barinholtz is calling a “fun facelift.”
“I couldn’t get in here to do anything until April 1 because when the ceiling came down it was really bad,” Barinholtz said. “There was water that came down into the store and through the floor and into the basement. We ripped up the whole floor, replaced the ceiling and electrical equipment in the ceiling. While all that was under work, my hands were tied.”
Barinholtz and her husband, Max, opened the novelty, candy and clothing shop in 2012. State Street Stuff carries unique, whimsical and out-of-the-ordinary items. Some of the signature products include guitar spatulas, a bathroom guestbook and a tape dispenser shaped like an otter.
Through the ordeal, Barinholtz said she was pleased to see the amount of support from the community online and in Facebook comments.
“We’re grateful for all the support,” she said. “We’re also hoping the spring and summer weather was as good as the weather we missed.”